Volume 12, Issue 9: Prehospital assessment and management of acute burns – the perfect observerAuthor: Sarah-Jane Niles
Prehospital assessment and management of acute burns – the perfect observer
You are working on a rapid response vehicle with an observer when a call comes in: “Cat 1, airplane incident, fire, 3 casualties, major burns, awaiting further information.” It turns out your observer has some useful experience and the hazardous area response team (HART), fire service and police are now on scene, but you are the first conventional clinical resource to arrive. Are you ready for this?
Major burn injuries account for only 5% of all trauma in the UK, with an incidence rate of 4.7 per 100,000 so as a regular frontline clinician it is unlikely to be a frequent encounter. This article provides information on the pathophysiology of burns and the clinical signs and symptoms. Guidance is given on how to carry out an assessment using clinical decision-making rules to determine effective treatment. The article also uses scenarios involving other service providers to highlight the clinically complex challenge and multi-system assessment with specialist elements that burns can present. This will help you to influence a positive outcome when you do treat a burns patient, with effective, time-critical care and prompt fluid resuscitation.
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